Entrepreneurship

What Is The Best E-Commerce Platform For An Online Store?

Cameron Fleming | 23 March 2022 | 2 years ago

 

Which is the best e-commerce platform for an online store

There is no question that e-commerce is a great industry to get into. It offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell products and services to a global customer base, 24 hours a day, seven days a week without any of the overheads of a physical store.

But which is the best e-commerce platform for an online store?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits and features of some of the most popular e-commerce platforms and also provide some useful tips for maximising the potential of your e-commerce business.

The Top 6 E-Commerce Platforms

1. Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms and it is easy to see why. It offers entrepreneurs a simple, user-friendly platform with a wide range of features, including:

  • A customisable checkout process
  • 24/hour customer support
  • Fraud monitoring tools
  • An extensive app store with over 1000 apps available
Shopify also has a huge target customer base, making it an ideal platform for businesses looking to sell products and services online.

2. BigCommerce

BigCommerce offers many of the same features as Shopify. However, their main selling point is their marketing tools which can be used to help businesses get started with e-commerce.

Like Shopify, one of BigCommerce’s best features is its app store where users can find thousands of apps that they need for running an online store including analytics, email marketing software and payment processing tools.

By using BigCommerce’s built-in SEO tools entrepreneurs are able to optimise their website for search engines and increase traffic from organic sources like Google or Bing searches.

For those who want more control over their website design but still want it easy enough to set up a simple shop in minutes, then this might be the best option.

3. Magento

Magento is a popular e-commerce platform that offers entrepreneurs the ability to create their own online store in minutes. It has all of the features you need, including:

  • A customisable checkout process
  • Real-time shipping rates
  • Payment processing tools such as Paypal and Stripe
  • An easy drag-and-drop website builder for those who want more control over their design
  • The ability to link social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter
The platform has many great benefits, however, one downside is its lack of support which might make it difficult if you’re just getting started so Magento is best suited for businesses that have some experience in online selling but who want more control over their website design.

e-commerce platforms

4. Wix

Wix is another excellent choice for small businesses. It has an easy to use drag and drop website builder that allows you to create your own online store in minutes with no coding experience necessary.

The platform also offers a wide range of features such as:

  • Payment processing tools like PayPal or Stripe
  • Email marketing software including MailChimp, Constant Contact or Sendinblue (for more advanced users only)
  • Facebook and Google Analytics integration
  • Wix also has a huge target customer base, making it perfect for businesses just starting out in e-commerce.
The main downside of Wix is that you are limited in terms of design and customisation so if you want more control over your website then this might not be the best option for you.

5. Squarespace

Squarespace is another popular e-commerce platform for small businesses. It offers a simple platform that is easy to use with a wide range of features, including:

  • A customisable checkout process
  • Excellent customer support
  • Top security
  • An extensive app store with many apps that are excellent for e-commerce businesses
Like Wix, Squarespace also has a huge target customer base making it perfect for businesses just starting out in e-commerce. The main downside of Squarespace is there are also limitations when it comes to design and customisation.

shopping online

What is E-Commerce?

E-Commerce, or Electronic Commerce as it is sometimes known, is the process of buying and selling goods online. The industry traces its roots back to the early days of the internet when it was first used to sell books and music. Since then, e-commerce has exploded in popularity and is now a multi-trillion dollar industry that is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

The Benefits of E-Commerce

This growth can largely be attributed to the fact that e-commerce offers entrepreneurs a number of benefits that are not available with traditional brick and mortar retail stores, including:

Borderless Sales

An online store can reach customers in any country around the world. This gives entrepreneurs access to a global market which is not possible when selling from a physical location. All you need is a reliable shipping service and you’re good to go!

Low Startup and Operating Costs

Setting up an online store is much cheaper than opening a physical location. There are no overhead costs like rent or utilities and once your website has been built there won’t be any recurring expenses either unless you want to hire someone else for maintenance work (which will still be less than the cost of hiring someone to work at your physical store).

Huge Target Customer Base

Almost everyone who has access to the internet is a potential customer for your online store. This is in stark contrast to traditional retail stores which are limited by their geographical location. To reach out to global customers, all you need is a well-designed website and an SEO strategy that will ensure your site appears high up in search engines like Google and Bing (see below).

24/Hour Sales

Your online store never closes. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days of the year so even if someone wants to buy something at three o’clock in the morning they can do it on your site without any hassle or inconvenience. This also means that you can sell to customers in different time zones without having to change your store’s opening hours.

Unlimited Item Capacity

Unlike traditional retail stores, online stores do not have any physical limitations on the amount of stock they can carry. This gives entrepreneurs the ability to offer a much wider range of products and services to their customers. If an item is selling well, then it is easy to purchase more from the supplier without having any extra costs involved for storage.

A Convenient Customer Experience

E-commerce has revolutionised the way we shop. With a few clicks of a mouse, customers can browse through an endless selection of products and buy whatever they want without having to leave the comfort of their homes. They can compare products side by side, read reviews of items they’re interested in buying and even purchase items on the go using their smartphones or tablets.

Cheap Marketing Options

E-commerce entrepreneurs have access to a number of cheap and effective marketing options that are not available to traditional businesses. These include SEO, social media marketing, email marketing and paid advertising. By utilising all of these methods, you can reach out to millions of customers at a fraction of what it would cost in other ways.

online shopping cart

Tips for E-Commerce Success

Even though e-commerce offers many benefits over traditional retail stores, there are still some important things that entrepreneurs need to do in order to ensure their online business succeeds. Here are our top tips for e-commerce success:

Design a Great Website

The first step towards creating a successful e-commerce store is to design and build a website that is easy for customers to use. You should also ensure it looks professional so people have confidence in your business as well as trust that their personal details will be kept safe when ordering from you online (see below for more information on website security).

Your website should also include multiple methods for your customers to contact you or make queries such as a live chat service, a contact form and an email address. This will make it easier for them to get in touch if they have any problems with their order or they need help using your website.

Implement SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of improving your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can be done by adding relevant keywords and phrases to your website, creating high-quality backlinks, optimising your page titles and meta descriptions and publishing high-quality content. By doing this, you can ensure that your website appears near the top of search engine results pages for relevant keywords, which will bring more traffic to your site.

SEO can be difficult and expensive if you are unfamiliar with its methods so it is often worth investing in an SEO expert who will be able to help you achieve better results for your business.

Do Market Research

Before starting an online store, it is important to carry out some market research to find out if there is a demand for the products and services you want to sell. You should also look at your competitors and see what they’re doing well (and not so well) in order to identify any gaps in the market that could be filled by your business.

There are various ways to conduct market research including online surveys, focus groups and interviews with potential customers. You can also use Google AdWords to find out how many people are searching for specific keywords related to your products or services.

Use Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be great tools for e-commerce businesses as they allow you to engage with customers in a more personal way. You can use these channels to promote your products and services, respond to customer queries and share news about upcoming events or offers that will be of interest to them.

One of the most important things when using social media for e-commerce is to be consistent with your posts. You should aim to post regularly and make sure that all of the content you publish is high-quality and relevant to your target audience.

Regularly Update Products

It’s important to keep your online store fresh by regularly updating the products you offer. This can be done by adding new items regularly, removing products that are no longer selling and updating the descriptions and prices of existing items. To find out about the latest trends, you can use websites like Trend Hunter and Pinterest which will show you what products are currently popular.

Use Email Lists

One of the best ways to keep in touch with your customers and let them know about upcoming offers and events is to create an email list and send out regular newsletters. You can do this by using a tool like MailChimp, which makes it easy to design beautiful emails that will capture people’s attention.

You don’t want to bombard your customers with emails but you also don’t want to wait too long between messages as they may forget who you are and what you offer. A good rule of thumb is to send out a newsletter at least once a month, but no more than once every two weeks.

Ensure Your Website is Secure

When customers are making a purchase online, they want to know that their personal information is safe and secure. There are many different types of software available that can help you protect your website from hackers and malware attacks such as Wordfence Security Pro, Sucuri Firewall & Malware Scanner or SecuPress Security Suite. All of these solutions offer a free trial period so you can try them out and see which one works best for your needs.

You should also make sure that any payment processing services you use are secure so that customers’ credit card data is kept safe from theft. Some of the most popular payment processing services include PayPal, Stripe and Square.

online purchases

Final Thoughts

To understand which is the best e-commerce platform for an online store, you first need to look at your business and decide exactly what you need. Every platform has its own unique set of features and benefits so make sure you assess every option so that you can find the one that will help you on your road to success.

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